EDO, Nigeria – A 35-year-old man, Adegbenro Adekola, has been sentenced to seven months imprisonment by a Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo, for human trafficking.
The convict committed the offence sometimes in November 2017 in Osogbo, Osun State.
Represented by Mrs Caroline Zaruwa, the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, told the court that the convict and some agents have sent many women overseas where they are being subjected to sexual harassment.
The convict was alleged to have recruited, exported and sold out one Awoyeju Oluwakemi Folayemi, 27 of Mbabi-Mbayo Road 7, Ile-Ife as a slave to one Isa Obeid Salem Amari in Saudi Arabia.
The convict was also alleged of organizing the foreign travel of Damilola Zainab, Tone Dasola and one Tosin to Saudi Arabia for exploitative purposes.
The offence committed is contrary to and punishable under Sections 18 and 24 of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act 2015.
The court held that evidence tendered and witness evidence have been well coordinated by the prosecution counsel, Zaruwa.
The defense counsel to the convict, Biodun Olaide, urged the court to be lenient in sentencing his client, noting that he is a first time offender.
He informed the court that the convict had license to operate but failure to read the act against trafficking put him into trouble.
In his judgment, Justice Emmanuel Ayoola agreed that the prosecution has proved the case beyond reasonable doubt.
Justice Ayoola held that the testimony of the PW1 Awoyeju Folayemi, that her passports and mobile phones were seized upon getting to Saudi Arabia and was sexually harassed, was not denied by the convict.
The court held that the claim of the PW1 that one year salary was paid to her after intervention of police and remaining six months yet unpaid was proved by the prosecution.
The Judge stated that it was proven that a sum of 600USD was collected by the convict for the transaction.
Justice Ayoola said the convict was guilty as charged.
While stressing that the act stipulates seven years and payment of N2million, Justice Ayoola stated that many people are not aware of the NAPTIP Act, he thereby sentenced Adekola to seven months imprisonment and payment of additional N100,000.
The Judge ordered that the jail term should run concurrently.